An innovative system for conditioning biomass sorghum [Sorghum Bicolor (L.) Moench.]
Assirelli, A.; Croce, S.; Acampora, A.; Civitarese, V.; Suardi, A.; Santangelo, E.; Pari, L.
Transactions of the ASABE
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AMER SOC AGRICULTURAL & BIOLOGICAL ENGINEERS
|Abstract in Italian:|
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One of the main constraints hindering the cultivation of fiber sorghum, which produces a substantial amount of fermentable biomass, is the lack of an efficient harvesting method. The anatomical structure of th efiber sorghum plant makes conditioning thr plants difficult, resulting in increased losses, diminished product quality, and increased harvesting costs. The purpose of this study is to investigate an alternate harvesting method to improve the shelf life of sorghum biomass thereby reduce the costs of harvesting sorghum. A prototype of a rear tractor-mounted mower-conditioner was designed, built, and tested over two years (2007-2008). The machin ewas able to mow and vigorously condition each plant in separated single rows. The conditioner consisted of two counter-rotating rollers placed lengthwise in a forward direction, which fractured and crusched the stalks, providing a remarkable improvement in work quality compared with current methods. The prototype achieved a significant reduction in driyng times compared to other system and extended the harvest windows, thus eliminating one of the main obstacles to a wider cultivation of fiber sorghum.